Revised U.S. Postal Regulations
In an effort to save labor and revenue, the United States Postal Service (USPS) implemented new regulations on how companies manage mailing lists and bulk mailings. As of Nov. 23, all companies will have to wash lists through the National Change of Address database more than twice as frequently in the past.
The USPS is increasing its effort to improve the percentage of deliverable mail by revising the Move Update standards. The Move Update standards provide ways for mailers to reduce the number of mailpieces that require forwarding or return by the periodic matching of a mailer’s address records with customer-filed change-of-address orders. The final rule published Sept. 23, 2007, included the following changes related to Move Update processing:
• Increase the minimum frequency of Move Update processing from 185 calendar days to 95 days prior to the date of mailing.
• Extend the revised Move Update standards to include all Standard Mail (letters, flats, parcels and not flat-machinables), as well as automation-rate and presort-rate First-Class Mail.
The Postal Service and the mailing industry believe these revised standards are crucial to the business interests of mailers, as well as the continued vitality of the postal system. In fiscal year 2004, the Postal Service handled 9.7 billion pieces of undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail at a cost of $1.85 billion. These revised standards will result in better address quality by removing incorrectly addressed pieces from subsequent mailings, which will reduce UAA mail.
To inform companies and business owners, the USPS provides the new guidelines and a series of articles on the change. To learn more, visit www.usps.com.